Recently, I took a risk and switched my career-focused weekly article to something deeply personal. I honored the 31st anniversary of my parents' death in a piece called, The Importance of Anniversaries. There were many reasons for me NOT to post something that honest and revealing. A few I tossed around were:
"People will think I'm a mess."
"That's not what people want to hear from me."
But, I was compelled to write it and driven to share it. I felt as if I was giving myself permission to finally speak my native tongue after years of only experiencing it in fleeting moments.
I put it out there. I went for a run. And when I returned, something remarkable happened—an explosion of love and support and inspiration and hope. Family, friends—old and new, people with whom I lost touch for 20+ years, so many camp friends and total strangers reached out to me on every channel including my neighborhood streets to say the piece inspired them to heal in a new way or they now can better help a friend going through loss and—
"This is the thing you need to be writing and speaking about."
Deep breathe. While I'm not going to switch gears completely, my eyes and ears were and are at attention to better understand what's happening here. I've stumbled upon, My Truth. It's that thing that when you talk or write about it, it sounds like the most real, raw, honest version of you. For a while now, I've noticed this phenomena when discussing women in leadership and those clues have prompted me to drive my business down that path. What I'm learning is that I may have more than one and each may last for a different window of time—but when you listen to your intuition and speak Your Truth, here's what happens:
You feel alive
When I wrote the piece about my parents, I became that kid again—the girl who lost them AND the girl who survived it. I was able to connect words and emotions that I often struggle to marry in my weekly writing. I was a vessel rather than a wrangler. Every cell in my being was in cahoots and planning the epic party that lived in my belly for days after the piece was completed. Even before I sent it out to the world, I knew it felt different to write—and that after writing it, I was different.
People wake up and listen
When you speak Your Truth—whether it's in writing or in person, your passion and your honesty work like a magnet to draw people in. They lift their heads up out of busy-ness and the noise of media inundation to better understand what it means to be human, to learn something both basic and powerful about their lives that was always there. This is what happened to me on that day when my phone exploded with the music of diverse and simultaneous mobile alerts—all in an effort to go beyond saying, "I'm sorry". They were saying, "I get it more than I ever have."
If you haven't yet discovered Your Truth—don't fret. You can experiment with becoming aware of how it feels to talk about certain topics with friends, family and colleagues. When do you get impassioned and raw and excited and feel like you don't want the conversation to end? What are the conversations that draw others in and when do you naturally form connections? In discovering Your Truth, you can begin to explore a new career path, direction for your business or way to help the world with your gift. Know that in this search, you don't have to have all the answers. You simply need to be open to the questions.